McPherson County Community Foundation Marks Centennial of Community Foundation Movement in America

By McPherson County Community Foundation
January 07, 2014

One hundred years ago, the community foundation concept was born in the Midwest, giving rise to a new philanthropy, a new way of participating in community, and a new vision for the future.

Today, McPherson County Community Foundation is one of more than 700 community foundations across the United States that invite everyday people with a vision and a passion for community to create something together: For good. Forever. These organizations collectively manage more than $48 billion in assets and make grants of approximately $4.5 billion a year to improve life in their communities. This philanthropic model has spread beyond U.S. borders, with approximately 1,700 community foundations established worldwide.

"In May 2014, the McPherson County Community Foundation celebrates our own 13th anniversary, commemorating donors and volunteers whose generosity continues to make life better in McPherson County," said Becky Goss, President/CEO, McPherson County Community Foundation. "We also mark this year as the 100th anniversary of the community foundation movement at work in communities around the world."

Community foundations translate collective giving into big impact

Cleveland lawyer and banker Frederick H. Geoff established the first community foundation in 1914. His vision was to pool the charitable resources of community members, people of all means, into a single, great and permanent endowment for the benefit of all. Within five years, community foundations were established in Chicago, Boston, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Grand Rapids, Minneapolis, Buffalo and New York.

Community foundations give everyone access to the power of endowment

Community foundations are designed to build endowment funds that benefit the community forever and help create personal legacies. When you contribute to the endowment managed by McPherson County Community Foundation, your gift is invested over time. Earnings from your fund are used to make grants addressing community needs. Your gift, and all future earnings from your gift, is a permanent source of community capital, helping to do good work today and in the future.

Since established, McPherson County Community Foundation has made grants of more than $3 million and have assets of $12 million. We work with affiliate community foundations focused on the Moundridge and Inman communities and administer over 180 different funds for children, youth, elderly, education, arts, environment, community development and health.

We meet the nation’s highest philanthropic standards for operational quality, integrity and accountability. The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations Program requires community foundations to document our policies for donor services, investments, grantmaking and administration.

Community foundations are devoted to the people and places you love

We are making history together. Community foundations across the country are helping people invest in the future of the communities they care about. Trillions of dollars are expected to transfer from one generation to the next during the next 50 years. The philanthropic opportunity during this transfer has the potential to improve the quality of life in urban centers and small towns alike, through economic development, education, health, human services, environment, arts and culture. As place-based organizations that focus collective assets for good works, community foundations are helping people of all means give back and make a difference.

Today, the current net worth of McPherson County is estimated at $1.4 billion. During the coming decade, $236 million is expected to transfer from one generation to the next. From 2020 to 2064, an estimated transfer of wealth for McPherson County is estimated at $1.17 billion.

If just 5% of this transfer from the coming decade could be invested at the community foundation in an endowed fund, an estimated $11 million would be gained. Figuring a 5% grant payout, $2.1 million could be available annually to improve the quality of life in our community and secure our future.

McPherson County Community Foundation is a local nonprofit organization providing donors a simple, powerful and highly personal approach to giving, so their gifts do good works within the community, forever.


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